‘Civil libertarians who applaud the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017) should have no trouble appreciating the historical fact that it was the socialist-pacifist Albert Einstein who triggered America’s Manhattan Project…’
(1) “I do recall that my surroundings turned blindingly white, like a million camera flashes going off at once. Then, pitch darkness. I was buried alive under the house.” – Yasujiro Tanaka, Distance from hypocenter: 3.4km, Location: Nagasaki; [https://www.icanw.org/hibakusha?utm_campaign=launch_hibakusha_longform&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ican]
(2) Takashi Morita was a 21-year-old military policeman walking on the street approximately 1.5 km from the epicenter when the atomic bomb was detonated above the sky of Hiroshima city. Although he was severely burned on his neck and other parts of his body, he devoted himself to saving the lives of others who were injured by the bomb. [https://peaceboat.org/english/news/hiroshima-nagasaki-75-years-testimonies]
“Boiling heat, summer stench, ‘Neath the black the sky looks dead, Call my name through the cream, And I’ll hear you scream again” – Soundgarden. Horrible it was, but of course. “I did not move a muscle when I first heard that the atom bomb had wiped out Hiroshima. On the contrary, I said to myself, ‘Unless now the world adopts nonviolence, it will spell certain suicide for mankind’.” [https://www.mkgandhi.org/articles/NuclearArms.htm]
The Mahatma in the immediate postwar period had stated, “Has not the atom bomb proved the futility of all violence?” and he did try to dissuade Der Fuhrer even before the formal outbreak of World War II: “Dear Friend…It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success?” [Harijan, March 10, 1946; Gandhi’s Letter to Adolf Hitler, India, July 23, 1939]
Then again: “Is it too much to ask you to make an effort for peace during a time which may mean nothing to you personally but which must mean much to the millions of Europeans whose dumb cry for peace I hear, for my ears are attuned to hearing the dumb millions? I had intended to address a joint appeal to you and Signor Mussolini, whom I had the privilege of meeting when I was in Rome during my visit to England as a delegate to the Round Table Conference.” [Gandhi’s Letter to Adolf Hitler, WARDHA, December 24, 1940] It turned out that massive Fascist violence could only be defeated by massive Anti-Fascist violence.
Guernica, Blitzkrieg, Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD and the Schutzstaffel, vengeance rockets, Die Endlösung der Judenfrage. And from Shintoist Japan: Rape of Nanjing, Bataan Death March, Thai-Burma Death Railway, Lipa Massacre, Sandakan Death March, Rape of Manila, among others. Hirohito’s kamikazes, balloon bombs, kaitens, Unit 731 bio-warriors, banzai charges plus the Nigo Research project. Yes, Dai Nippon was trying to produce its own nuclear weapons, Japanese Navy’s F Research. Kyoto University Radioisotope Research lab Professor Bunsaku Arakatsu and Japanese company Tokyo Keiki were scheduled to complete their device on August 19, 1945. Moreover: Chieko Takeuchi, widow of the atomic scientist Masa Takeuchi, recalled her husband saying, “If we’d built the bomb first, of course we would have used it. I’m glad, in some ways, that our facilities were destroyed.” [As reported by Japan’s Sankei newspaper; Jake Adelstein, “New evidence of Japan’s effort to build atom bomb at the end of WWII,” Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2015]
The Imperial Japanese Army version (Ni-Go) was originally commissioned by Lieutenant General Takeo Yasuda. [https://www.atomicheritage.org/print/history/japanese-atomic-bomb-project] Tatsusaburo Suzuki and a team of 50 scientists were working on the Japanese A-bomb. “I think the Hiroshima museum and the textbooks should mention the Japanese project to build the bomb, because the only difference was that Japan was behind the United States,” said Sho Ishida, 20, a student at Hiroshima University. “If Japan had developed it first, Japan might have used it.” [Nicholas D. Kristof, “Japan’s A-Bomb Project: One of War’s ‘What Ifs’,” The New York Times, August 8, 1995]
“Steal the warm wind, tired friend, Times are gone for honest men, And sometimes far too long for snakes” – Soundgarden
Fans of Isao Takahata’s 1988 anime “Grave of the Fireflies” (based on Akiyuki Nosaka’s 1967 semi-autobiographical short story Hotaru no Haka) should also be strongly inspired by Minoru Matsui’s 2001 “Japanese Devils” (Riben Guizi 日本鬼子) that documented the brutalities perpetrated by Yoshio Tsuchiya, Hakudo Nagatomi, Yoshio Shinozuka, Taisuke Funyu, and ten more Japanese war criminals. Activists who sympathize with Mr. Lee Jong Keun (a second-generation Korean resident in Japan and an a-bomb survivor who suffered “double discrimination” for being a Korean and a Hibakusha) can also learn from the testimony of Masayo Enomoto: “We came across a village full of women. We stripped them and made them lie down along the side of the road. After we raped them we stuffed petrol-soaked rags inside their vaginas and burned them. It was a message to the enemy, but it was also entertainment for us.” This sergeant major confessed to raping a young woman, slicing her up with a meat cleaver, cooking her in a pot and distributing her as food to his troops, who were short of meat. [https://hiroshimaforpeace.com/en/ican-4thday/; https://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/WAR-Japanese-soldiers-finally-tell-their-story-2864183.php]
Civil libertarians who applaud the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017) should have no trouble appreciating the historical fact that it was the socialist-pacifist Albert Einstein who triggered America’s Manhattan Project: “My participation in the production of the atom bomb consisted in a single act: I signed a letter to President Roosevelt. This letter stressed the necessity of large scale experimentation to ascertain the possibility of producing an atom bomb.” [https://www.atomicarchive.com/resources/documents/hiroshima-nagasaki/einstein-response.html]
Fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime “Howl’s Moving Castle” and Keiji Nakazawa’s manga series “Barefoot Gen” should be unflinching in supporting the Union of Concerned Scientists and signing the “Hibakusha Appeal” of Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations) and its allied NGOs: “Nuclear weapons are the ‘weapons of the devil.’ They could wipe out the human race and all other creatures. They could destroy the environment and turn the globe into a dead planet.”
Even as COVID-19 rages across earth, flashpoints (South China Sea, Korean Peninsula) indicate a nuclear holocaust in the offing, if humans did not learn from WW2.